I Can Trace Nothing On This Surface, So
Heavily Washed By Late Rain.
Let now the harriers come, and instantly the
hounds' second sense of smell picks up the invisible sign of the hare
that has crossed it in the night or early dawn, and runs it as swiftly as
if he were lifting a clue of thread.
The dull surface is all written over
with hieroglyphics to the hound, he can read and translate to us in
joyous tongue. Or the foxhounds carry a bee-line straight from hedge to
hedge, and after them come the hoofs, prospecting deeply into the earth,
dashing down fibre and blade, crunching up the tender wheat and battering
it to pieces. It will rise again all the fresher and stronger, for there
is something human in wheat, and the more it is trampled on the better it
grows. Despots grind half the human race, and despots stronger than
man - plague, pestilence, and famine - grind the whole; and yet the world
increases, and the green wheat of the human heart is not to be trampled
The starlings grew busier and busier in the dark green Spanish oaks,
thrown up as if a shell had burst among them; suddenly their clucking and
whistling ceased, the speeches of contention were over, a vote of
confidence had been passed in their Government, and the House was silent.
The pheasants in the park shook their wings and crowed 'kuck, kuck - kow,'
and went to roost; the water in the furrows ceased to reflect; the dark
earth grew darker and damper; the elms lost their reddish brown; the sky
became leaden behind the ridge of the Downs; and the shadow of night fell
over the field.
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